One of London’s hidden treasures, Michelin House is a must-see attraction for anyone with an appreciation for grand architecture.
Nestled in one of the capital’s most affluent areas, those staying at the Montcalm London are able to use the city’s extensive public transport network to reach Michelin House with ease. If this sounds like something for you, here is our brief introduction to this iconic building’s history and what to look out for during your visit.
Headquarters for a well-known brand
Originally opened in 1911, the building started life as the permanent headquarters of the Michelin Tyre Company and stayed that way for several decades. The presence of the company can still be very much felt and visitors staying at Montcalm Royal London House will delight in discovering sizeable stained glass windows of the company mascot and one of the world’s oldest trademarks, Bibendum.
There are also several other clues dotted around the building that pays homage to Michelin House’s original purpose including decorative tiles and ornate mosaics, so it’s well worth a visit when you stay at the Montcalm London to see if you can spot them all.
Who built Michelin House?
You might be surprised to discover that the art deco building wasn’t created by a famous London architect, but by one of Michelin’s own employees.
Francois Espinasse designed the building to not only house essential employees at the firm’s London headquarters, but the front of the building also allowed for vehicle access and had a fully operational petrol station inside too!
After forty years serving its purpose, the building proved to be too small for its intended use, and the headquarters were relocated to Stoke-on-Trent where they remain to this day.
What happened to the building after that?
Following the departure of Michelin’s staff, the building was used as a furniture warehouse, offices for the Air Ministry and was finally converted into an oyster bar named after Michelin’s most memorable ’employee’ Bibendum himself!
Those with a love of seafood can book a table to enjoy the splendour and heritage of the building while dining, but for those that don’t enjoy the delights of the sea, the Aviary restaurant by the Montcalm London offers an array of delectable dishes and stunning skyline views just a short stroll from your hotel.
Booking at the Aviary restaurant is advised as tables fill up quickly around sunset, but if you time your visit to Michelin House just right, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views over the city as the sun sets.
To reach Michelin House from the Montcalm Royal London House, take the central line from Finsbury Park, and you’ll be there in just under half an hour. From the station, it’s just a short stroll to the building so see what other art deco building treasures you can spot on your way.
Just don’t forget to take your camera as there are plenty of pieces of Michelin heritage for you to capture during your visit.